Set in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur has an unbeatable location – directly across from Pavilion, an iconic maze of a mall and a 15-minute walk away from Changkat Bukit Bintang. If you’re staying for business, leisure, or hankering to splurge, it can’t get any more convenient than this.
The urban five-star hotel is all about opulence, from its 53rd-floor lobby lounge to its 55 rooms and suites (all found on levels 54 and above) and an ultra-chic day spa and gourmet dining with surreal views of the city skyline.
I stayed at the hotel’s Sky Suite, a 62-square-metre beauty featuring expansive floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The spacious room feels like a chic residential apartment, with unparalleled views overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. A cream, beige and deep neutral palette and dark wood furniture let the panoramas take center stage, while the art deco creates a sophisticated sense of place.
The luxury touches also come in the form of a feather-soft king-sized bed and cavernous spa-style bathroom with a heated Japanese Toto toilet, fibreglass bathtub and a rainforest shower with colour-changing LED lights, which are said to soothe – and certainly worked for me.
Life is sweeter at the Banyan Tree Spa, a serene sanctuary for the senses. After a welcome foot bath, I enjoyed an hour of a full-body deep-tissue massage, which was performed by a trained therapist who uses medium to firm pressure to loosen muscle fatigue and tension. If you’re looking for a total reset, the spa offers everything from foot reflexology to anti-aging facials and three-hour-long wellness rituals involving scrubs and city-view bubble baths.
As for dining, the hotel’s signature restaurant Horizon Grill – which is located on the 58th floor, serves a hearty breakfast spread, executive lunches, gourmet dinners and city views galore. For dinner, I was served Extraordinary Menu, a delicious tasting menu of 8-course modern European cuisine with distinctively Asian elements, all carefully curated by Chef Francesco Fedrighi. From the torched Japanese Hamachi to the salt crust Sabah King Prawn, the dishes poise to entice even the most discerning taste buds.
From here, an escalator glides up to the very glamorous Vertigo, a rooftop open-air bar and somewhere you should stop by for a sunset cocktail even if not staying at the hotel. With a 360 view draping around the rooftop, every corner is a good seat. When night falls, DJs take to the decks to bring the party vibe up a notch.
Like Kuala Lumpur itself, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur provides a nice balance between high design, a sort of sophisticated luxury and warm, courteous Malaysian hospitality. And yes, it deserves every bit of the praise it receives.
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